LEBANON — Madison Wise isn’t used to playing second fiddle. She hasn’t nearly her entire basketball career.
Teamed with some of the best juniors in the state on Thursday against the Indiana Senior All-Stars at Lebanon High School, Wise received a taste of the talent she could face at the next level in college.
A four-star recruit with several offers already on the table, Wise finished with a team-high 14 points after struggling (1 of 6 shooting) in the first half. And although she missed a few shots she normally makes and was blocked on occasion, the experience was invaluable.
“I just had to come out with a mentality to score,” Wise said after knocking down three 3-pointers in the second half. “I know we had a really poor start. I’ve been just trying to work on being strong physically and mentally.”
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However, the Seniors won 119-67.
“The senior class is really good,” Wise continued. “We aren’t quite up to par yet, but we are getting there.”
Wise finished with 16 in the first warmup game Tuesday in Bloomington and currently has offers from Indiana, Southern Illinois, Arkansas and Indiana State among others. She also is playing with Greenfield-Central teammate Katie Helgason on the Indy Magic AAU team this summer.
“I am really not sure yet (on what schools she likes), I have a few more visits coming up soon,” Wise said. “It (AAU) kicks back up again in July.”
And playing in only her second game since the high school season ended for Mt. Vernon in early February, guard Sydney Shelton, who finished with three points Tuesday, tallied seven points on 2 of 5 shooting on Thursday in the win.
She also hit a three in the second half that was at least five feet behind the line.
“I wasn’t able to jump for a long time, and I changed my shot a little bit,” Shelton said. “I adjusted some things that needed to be changed. I think it is working out well; it just comes down to making it a habit.”
Lindsey Corsaro, who is headed to UCLA, led the Senior girls in scoring with 21 points as they improved to 35-10 in the all-time series against the Juniors, which started in 1996.
“It (this experience) is a lot like college,” Shelton said, who will head to Butler later this month for various camps. “We have some really good girls playing for us. I may be biased, but I think our class is the strongest in the nation, considering who is going where (for college).”
Dressed in blue and red with pink and black shoes, Wise used a nice post move early in the first half to score over former Lebanon star Kristen Spolyar, catching the ball on the left block and driving middle, only to eventually score on the right side of the basket.
But she’s been working on more than just her post game.
“I definitely learned a lot from these games,” Wise said. “Going into college, I know I’m going to be more of a guard. I have been working on ball handling, being able to play (positions) one through four.”
Later in the opening half, Shelton sparked a Seniors’ run after draining a three off an offensive rebound and finding Corsaro for another 3-pointer on the ensuing possession as the veterans took a 30-19 lead with 11 minutes left on the clock.
Wise finished with two points and a block for the Juniors in the first half, while Shelton added four points. The Seniors, which completed a 21-1 run, led 62-21 with Corsaro scoring 18 points on a perfect 7 of 7 effort from the field.
Wise, Gary West’s Dana Evans, Columbus North’s Maliah Howard-Bass, Plainfield’s Riley Blackwell, Homestead’s Karissa McLaughlin and Evansville Central’s Zion Sanders are part of the Junior core group.
McLaughlin and Sanders each had five points at half, respectively, while Rachel McLimore of Covenant Christian finished with 11 points in the game.
In the boys game, Indiana Mr. Basketball and future University of Virginia guard Kyle Guy scored 17 points, but the Seniors lost 103-90 after a rough first half. Guy missed the first eight minutes of the game while attending his high school graduation.
Southport’s Paul Scruggs and North Central’s Kris Wilkes put on a show for the Juniors, finishing with 17 and 14 points, respectively. Scruggs also had eight rebounds and six assists.
The Seniors still lead the overall series, though, 36-9.
Focus now shifts to the Indiana-Kentucky All-Star games, which are scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. on Saturday at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.
“It’s definitely what we’ve been preparing for,” Shelton said. “We take a lot of pride wearing Indiana on our chest.”